PittsburghMom is our original, featured blog by Heather Starr Fiedler.  Heather created PittsburghMom in March 2008 and began this journey.  Heather is the mom to two young boys, Matthew (9) and Benjamin (7), a college professor and General Manager of PittsburghMom. She's busy, but not too busy to blog about her sometimes serious, sometimes painful and often humorous thoughts on life and share her favorite Pittsburgh spots for families.


Pittsburgh Family Fun - Pittsburgh Area Campgrounds 2014

Written by Heather Starr Fiedler. Posted in PittsburghMom

User Rating:  / 2


 Summer is here! And after the long, cold winter we had, nothing sounds better than the thought of some yummy s'mores over a crackling fire.  A few months ago we asked for your thoughts on the best campgrounds in Allegheny and surrounding counties. We've compiled a list of those and some other nearby campgrounds to check out this summers.  Happy Camping!




Indian Brave Campground

159 Perry Highway (Rt 19) Harmony, PA 16037

(724) 452-9204

Indian Brave Campground offers a convenient getaway where your family can relax in a safe gated, wooded surrounding. Enjoy the Olympic-size pool, game room, seasonal entertainment and children’s activities.

With 25 travel sites, we can accommodate small R.V.’s to large motor homes, with 30 and 50 AMP hookups, including city water and sewage, and FREE cable television. We also offer cabin rentals, plenty of primitive tent sites, a dump station, ice, firewood, a recreation hall, restrooms, showers, camp store, and laundry room. Security features, and campground patrol makes for a safe time while you and your family enjoy your stay with us.


  • Seasonal sites with concrete pads

  • Travel sites with full hook-ups (30&50amp)

  • Open and wooded primitive tent sites

  • 2 rustic cabins (sleeps 4)

  • Group tenting area

  • Laundromat

  • Large rec hall – Activities for all

  • Olympic size swimming pool

  • Two clean bathhouses with hot showers

  • Camp store including ice and firewood

  • Free cable TV

  • Leashed pets permitted



  • Large game room

  • Swimming for all ages

  • Playground

  • Basketball court

  • Walking and biking trail

  • Organized activities for all ages

  • Riverbank fishing

  • Horse shoe pits

Rates range from $20 per day for primitive campsites to $40 per day for cabins. Weekly and monthly rates are available.

 More information:  http://indianbravecampground.net/

Moraine State Park

225 Pleasant Valley Rd

Portersville, PA 16051

(724) 368-8811


The gently rolling hills, lush forests and sparkling waters disguise a land that has endured the effects of continental glaciers and massive mineral extraction.

Each year over one million boaters, hikers, bikers and swimmers visit the 16,725-acre park, yet never realize that many people helped restore the park from prior coal mining and oil and gas drilling practices. Today, the park is an outstanding example of environmental engineering achievement.

Eleven modern cabins are available for rent year-round. These electrically heated cabins sleep six people and have two bedrooms, bathroom with shower, kitchen, dining/living area and a dock on Lake Arthur during the summer season. Renters must provide their own linens, towels, cookware and tableware. Play equipment for children is in a central area.

From June until August, cabins must be rented by the week with prices ranging from $194 to $586 depending on the cabin.  Tent camping is not permitted at Moraine.


Reservations can be made online: http://www.pa.reserveworld.com/SelectCampArea.aspx?PK_ID=6210

Bear Run Campground

184 Badger Hill Rd,

Portersville, PA 16051


Bear Run Campground is a full-service family vacation destination operated by the Wehr Family since 1975. This Top Rated Good Sam and Trailer Life Park offers a wide range of accommodations; select from RV and pull-thru sites, rustic to deluxe cabins or tent and backpacking & walk-in sites. Bear Run Campground has all the amenities to make your stay convenient and easy going. In addition, Bear Run Campground offers an array of activities for adults and children.

Bear Run Campground borders Moraine State Park with access to McConnells Mill State Park, National Scenic North Country Trail and Jennings Education Center. Kayak and canoe rentals are available at the campground. Bear Run Campground offers complete packages for your getaway enjoyment. Decide from shopping at Grove City Outlets, Living Treasures Wild Animal Park, Horseback Riding or Kayaking/Canoeing. These packaged getaways make for quick and easy trips.

Rates range from $28.00 for a basic camping site to $169.00 per night for a two-bedroom Cabin.

More information:  http://bearruncampground.com

Rustic Acres RV Resort and Campground

634 Pine Terrace Road

Shippenville, PA 16254

(814) 226-9850

A 24 acre, family campground located in Clarion County, in northwest Pennsylvania near Clarion, Leeper, Marianville, Franklin and Cooks Forest; and within easy access to two rivers;

Clarion River and Allegheny River. Rustic Acres is snuggled in by giant oak and pine trees. Additionally, we are bordered on two sides by beautiful Pennsylvania State game lands; 3,000 acres of wooded game land, boasting public hunting and fishing of both large and small game.

Rustic Acres boasts a beautiful campground that surrounds a wonderful picnic pavilion, with a sun room, fully equipped kitchen, and plenty of room left for dancing and parties. We offer 95 full service (electric, water & sewage) RV sites, a multitude of primitive sites, and variety of camper rentals. Any one of these options insures your unique camping experience.

For RV campers, we offer shaded, level sites that feature full hookups, including 20 and 30 amp electric. With our generous sites, even big rigs and campers with slide-outs will find that they have room to spare. There are even back-to-nature wooded, primitive sites for tent campers.

Every campsite comes with a picnic table and fire-ring for outdoor meals or songs around the campfire. For the kid in all of us,  Rustic Acres offers horse shoes, shuffle board, children's playground, wading creek, basketball, volleyball, miniature golf, and hiking trails.


Primitive: $22 per day, $122 per week, $250 per month

Primitive with water and electric: $25 per day, $150 plus electric per week, $300 plus electric  per month

All costs are for a family of four. Two Adults and two children under 18.

Additional rules and rates available at http://rusticacrescampground.com/rates.html


Oil Creek Family Campground

340 Shreve Road,

Titusville, PA 16354

Within walking distance of Oil Creek State Park and the Allegheny National Forest is nearby.  

Our Playground with swings, slide, climbing pole, tetherball, funnelball, & tic tac toe is a great place to play with new found friends. Then grab a pole and catch some smallmouth bass or bluegill in our pond. At night take a flashlight to light the way on a walk through the maze.


Visit the Llama Petting Pen and let them eat grass right out of your hand. Pieces of apples, pears, and grapes make a nice treat for them, also. Some years we may have Alpacas which are a smaller version of the same animal. One year a baby llama was born right here. Don’t forget to check out the teddy bears made from the fiber of the llama, they are especially soft and cuddly.


Basic site rates for 2 people

Add $2.00 for each additional person

Children 5 and under are free


Rustic, no hook ups: $ 26.00 per night

Water & electric:  $ 28.00 per night

Water, electric, & sewer $ 30.00 per night

Weekly ($50 deposit required) 7th night free

Cabins are also available.

More information on rates and planned activities can be found at http://www.oilcreekcampground.com



Kalyumet Campground

8630 Miola Rd

Lucinda, PA 16235



Kalyumet is an Indian term for the word welcome, and a warm welcome is in store for you when you visit Kalyumet this season.

Located just minutes from Cook Forest and the Clarion River, Kalyumet offers the area's finest family camping & cabin facilities.

From the area's largest heated pool and new playground to our 10* rated restrooms and free WiFi throughout the park, our facilities are second to none.


We have free cable TV with 48 channels at each of our RV sites. We also have 50 amp service available.


Whether you are planning to explore Cook Forest or spend a leisurely vacation with family or friends, we have a site for you. Be our guest and experience family camping at its finest. We invite you to enjoy our activities, relax by your campfire and see the area. You'll be glad you did.


Rates range from $36 per night for a Tent Site - No Hookups to $47 per night for a site with Water, Electric, Sewer & Cable

Weekly Special: Stay 6 nights and the 7th night is free


More information: http://www.kalyumet.com/




Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest

449 Camp Ground Rd

Harrisville, PA 16038

(724) 735-2417


Welcome to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest, a terrific family campground set in some of the prettiest countryside of Western Pennsylvania!


We offer a special group area called Kozy Club Arena, with 23 campsites surrounding a wonderful picnic pavilion. With our recreation hall sitting adjacent, the Kozy Club Arena is the ideal place for your group, rally, or reunion. Let Yogi Bear show you how much fun camping can be!


Amenities include:

Shady, level RV sites

Pull-thru sites

Full hookups




Swimming pool

Mini golf


Rec hall

Game room

Hiking trails

Security gate

Four-wheel bike rentals

Gem Mining Sluice

Award Winning restrooms & showers

Pets Welcome

Planned Activities & Entertainment for all ages

Non-denominational church services, in season


Rates range from$37.00 per night for Tent sites to $51 per night for Premium Water, Electric & Sewer Sites.  Rates are higher on weekends and holidays.  

More information: http://kozyrestkampground.com/rates.htm




Campers Paradise

9054 Old US Highway 422

New Castle, PA ‎

(724) 368-3766 ‎


Campers Paradise offers a Playground, Fire Truck Rides, Hiking, Biking & Nature Trails, a Swimming Pool, and a Life-sized Checkerboard.


Rates: Campsites are $35 per night for 2 adults and 2 children.

Other accommodations including Tipis, Covered Wagons, Bunkhouses, and various Cabins are available.  

Check out the full list with pricing: http://www.campersparadise.net/rates-top



Pymatuning State Park

Linesville, PA 16424

(724) 932-3141


Almost everything about Pymatuning State Park is huge. At 21,122 acres, it is one of the largest state parks in the Commonwealth. The 17,088-acre Pymatuning Reservoir is the largest lake in the Commonwealth. In its three campgrounds, Pymatuning has the most campsites in the Pennsylvania state park system. More people visit Pymatuning than almost any other state park in Pennsylvania. But the biggest thing about Pymatuning is the fun you can have boating, fishing, swimming, camping and enjoying other recreational opportunities. In addition to the state park facilities, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission operate a fish hatchery and visitor center, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission has wildlife viewing areas and a learning center.


Swimming: Four public beaches, Linesville, Tuttle, Jamestown One and Two, and the beach for campers in Jamestown Campground are open the weekend before Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather and conditions permitting.


Boating: The 17,088-acre Pymatuning Reservoir has many boat launches along the shores, including an ADA accessible launch in the Jamestown Marina and Manning Boat Launch.

The three Pennsylvania boat marinas have boat mooring and rent pontoon boats, motorboats, rowboats, canoes and kayaks, and have a store that has bait, tackle and snacks.


Fishing: The 17,088-acre Pymatuning Reservoir is a warm-water fishery. Common species are walleye, muskellunge, carp, crappie, perch, bluegill and largemouth and smallmouth bass. Ice fishing during the winter months is also popular. When fishing by boat, fishing licenses issued by either Ohio or Pennsylvania are honored anywhere on the lake. When fishing from the shore, only Ohio licensed fishermen can fish from the Ohio shore and Pennsylvania licensed fishermen from the Pennsylvania shore


Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hook-ups

There are two camping areas that are generally open from mid-April through mid-October. Contact the park for specific dates. All campgrounds are near swimming, boating, fishing and hiking and have a sanitary dump station. The maximum stay in all camping areas is fourteen days during the summer season and 21 days during the off-season. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

In the northern part of the park, Linesville Campground has modern facilities, including showers, flush toilets and ADA accessible campsites. About half of the campsites have electricity.

Rustic campgrounds start with a base price for residents at $15 per night.  


Rate information for Modern Cabins and reservations can be found here:








Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Mill Run

Mill Run, PA 15464 (Fayette County)

Phone: 800-439-9644 or 724-455-2929

Jellystone Park Mill Run, PA is a camp resort where magic happens everyday. Just watch the face of a child when they meet Yogi Bear, Boo Boo, Cindy Bear and Ranger Smith for the first time. You'll see magic fill the air. We offer something for everyone, but children are special to us.

We offer recreational facilities for all ages. Whether it's water fun, mini golf, fun rides, or hanging out with Yogi Bear & his friends, we've got lots of things to keep you and your family busy!


  • Water Fun

    • Upper Swimming Pool

    • Lower Swimming Pool

    • Water Slide

    • Water Wars

    • Spray Zone

  • Mini Golf

  • Mining Sluice

  • Paintball

  • Animaland

  • Rides

    • Carousel Rides

    • Jellystone Park™ Train Rides

    • Picnic Basket Express Rides

    • Hey Wagon Rides

    • Jellystone Park™ Fire Truck Rides

  • Playgrounds

    • Upper Playground

    • Lower Playground

We're the closest Jellystone Park Campground to Pittsburgh, PA so pack up the family and come enjoy and relax with us!

Overnight Cabin rates range from $115 to $220 per night based on size and amenities.  Weekly rates are also available.

Campsite rates range from $55.00 to $85.00 per night.

More information and specials are available on the Website: http://jellystonemillrun.com/index.html

Tall Oaks Campground

544 Camp Riamo Road

Farmington, PA 15437

(724) 329-4777


The park stretches across one hundred and fifty acres of the beautiful Laurel Highlands providing for the most wooded and spacious campsites in Western Pennsylvania. Nearby attractions include the Youghiogheny River in Ohiopyle, Mystic Rock PGA Golf Course and the natural water slides at Forbes State Forest.

Coin-operated showers, a store and restrooms are featured.  Wifi is available near the lodge.

Tent sites start at $12 per person per night

Cabins start at $20 with tax included

More information: http://www.talloakscampground.com/




Keystone State Park

1150 Keystone Park Rd

Derry, PA 15627

(724) 668-2939

The 1,200-acre Keystone State Park is great for day-trips and family vacations year-round. Camping, modern cabins, many trails and a lake are all within walking distance, providing an ideal setting for wildlife watching or outdoor adventures. The park is within easy driving distance from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area and its many attractions.

The 78-acre Keystone Lake has warm and cold water fishing, with trout stockings throughout the year. Warm-water fish are largemouth bass, tiger muskellunge, northern pike, black crappie, yellow perch, carp and brown bullhead catfish. A fishing area by the spillway is ADA accessible.

Boat Rental: Near the main boat launch on Keystone Lake, Northwest Kayak and Canoe rents boats and sells bait, basic camping supplies, firewood and ice.

Swimming: A sand beach is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 8 a.m. to sunset.

Hiking: 6 miles of trails

Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, some electric hook-ups

About 100 tent and trailer sites are available from the first Friday in April to the third Sunday of October. Lakeside Campground is adjacent to the lake. Hillside Campground is in a more remote area of the park for those wishing more privacy. Both campgrounds have a modern bathhouse. A sanitary dump station is available. Pets are permitted on designated sites.

Rates for sites and cabins vary. Reservations can be made online: http://www.pa.reserveworld.com/SelectCampArea.aspx?PK_ID=6205


Conemaugh Connection
Tunnelton Road
New Alexandria, PA 15670
(724) 459-8986

 The Gallagher Family welcomes you to our "Little Paradise" along the Conemaugh River near the Conemaugh Dam. Known as "Gallagher's Beach", our property sits along a beautiful riverfront where you can camp, kayak, canoe or launch your small boat.

Conemaugh Connection has several primitive campsites. Private showers and restrooms are currently under construction.  Sites includes a fire ring and a picnic table.

Rates for primitive campsites are $10 per night Sunday-Thursday and $15 per night Friday and Saturday.  Holiday weekends are $20 per night.  

Group campsites are also available from $20 to $30 per night.

More information:  http://www.conemaughconnection.com/


Lazy Acres Campground
RR 981
New Alexandria, PA 15670
(724) 668-8067

200 Sites with grounds that feature a Country Store, Planned Entertainment, Playgrounds, a Basketball Court, Recreation Center, Comfort Stations and a Hiking Trail.  Lazy Acres is Golf Cart friendly and Pet friendly.  Wi-Fi is availible.

Keystone State Park is about one mile from Lazy Acres and Idlewild Park and SoakZone are about 15 miles.  


Cabins start at  $40 per night.  Tent sites are $20 per night.

More Information: http://www.lazy-acres-campground.net/custom.html

Fox Den Acres
390 Wilson Fox Road
New Stanton, PA 15672
(724) 925-7054

Fox Den Acres Campground, carved out of the Laurel Highlands foothills, is the largest campground nearest Pittsburgh. Two miles north of exit 75 of the PA Turnpike, it is open 24 hours a day for campers from May 1st to October 31st.

The lake, swimming and wading pools provide ideal settings for fishing, swimming and boating. The Wildlife Museum and Trading Post are unique. There are more than 100 pull-through sites, some of them shaded.

The playground, kiddie pool and two lakes provide hours of fun for youngsters, while adults can enjoy the fishing, swimming and boating. There is a game room, too. Organized activities include Bingo, Crafts for Kids and holiday celebrations such as Christmas in July.

Facilities include restrooms, showers, tables, fire rings and a dump station. For campers’ convenience, LP gas, groceries and RV supplies are available. Security is provided. Leashed pets are permitted. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. All children and teens must return to campsites by 10 p.m. 

Rates: Tent sites are $25 per night

Campsites with water, electric, sewer, & cable hookups are $33 per night

More information: http://www.foxdenacres.com/



Four Seasons Resort Camping Resort

3 Camp Resort Road

West Finley, PA 15377

(724) 428-4407


Looking for a campground with family camping and ATV riding in Western Pennsylvania? Four Seasons Resort offers the finest in fun-filled family camping. Kids will especially enjoy all the fun events and activities.

Four Seasons Resort offers you and your family an ideal camping and entertainment facility for fun and relaxation. Come feel the comforts of home in our friendly atmosphere nestled on 850 forested acres plus 1047.8 acres of state game lands bordering Four Seasons Resort Wildlife and game abound!

Four Seasons Resort is a family campground with planned activities and special ATV Trails for the whole family. 35 miles of groomed trails for all skill levels. Ride from your campsite or from your room.  When you are tired of riding or hot, take a dip in our olympic sized swimming pool, take the kids fishing at our stocked pond or join in our planned activities. It’s all included when you stay and ride at Four Seasons Resort.

Rates range from $30 per night for a basic campsite to $140 per night for a Cottage.  Cottages sleep up to 6 people.  (Minimum 2 night stay, 3 night stay on holidays for cottages.)

More information: http://www.campfourseasonsresort.com/

Raccoon Creek State Park

3000 Route 18

Hookstown, PA 15050

(724) 899-2200

Raccoon Creek State Park has continued to develop from the park’s beginning as a Recreational Demonstration Area operated by the National Park Service in the 1930s, to one of the largest and most beautiful state parks in Pennsylvania. Facilities at the park are a mix from the early Civilian Conservation Corps camp to modern facilities. In addition to recreational areas, there are large tracts of undeveloped land. The 7,572-acre park features the beautiful 101-acre Raccoon Lake.

The 172 modern tent and trailer campsites are open from the second Friday in April to mid-October. The wooded campground offers a selection of secluded or adjoining sites, a playground, five central washhouses with hot showers and a sanitary dump station. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring.

Rates vary based on dates and accommodations.  Reservations can be made online: http://www.pa.reserveworld.com/SelectCampArea.aspx?PK_ID=6213

Ryerson Station State Park

361 Bristoria Road

Richhill, PA 15380

(724) 428-4254

Ryerson Station State Park is in Greene County in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, near the West Virginia border. The 1,164-acre park features the 62-acre Ronald J. Duke Lake that is named in memory of a former manager of Ryerson Station State Park.

Picnic tables are available throughout the park, along with charcoal grills, drinking water and restrooms. Some of these facilities are ADA accessible. A small, children’s play area is in the main picnic area.

The park has five picnic pavilions. Three pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.

North Fork of Dunkard Fork flows through the lakebed and offers fishing for trout and panfish. In the spring, the PA Fish and Boat Commission stocks the creek downstream from the breastwork of the old dam and upstream of the lakebed, near the Iron Bridge.

Hiking: 13 miles of trails allow visitors to explore the park on foot and on cross-country skis in winter. The trails traverse many habitats, like mature forests, wet valley bottoms, evergreen plantations and fields in ecological succession. Most trails are wide, easily followed and therefore not color-blazed. Where deemed necessary, blazes are yellow. Contact the park office for detailed trail descriptions.

Camping: A 46-site campground for tents or trailers lies on a ridge overlooking the park. Camping facilities are open year-round. Camping permits must be secured at the park office. Some campsites permit pets for an additional fee. Twenty-two sites have electric hookups requiring an additional fee. Vault toilets and a sanitary dump station are provided. A playfield for kickball and other field sports is in the campground.


Rates for campsites vary and reservations can be made online: www.pa.reserveworld.com/SelectCampArea.aspx?PK_ID=6214


Austin Lake RV Park & Cabins

1002 Township Road 285A

Toronto, OH ‎

(740) 544-5253


(About an Hour from Downtown Pittsburgh)


Take a step back in time... or better yet, throw away your watch. Austin Lake RV Park & Cabins is 1,300 acres of nature at its best!


Come camp with us for a day, a weekend or an entire summer. Enjoy the peacefulness of the Appalachian foothills. We are a family oriented campground with a variety of activities for all ages.


Nestled in the scenic hills of the Ohio Valley, the fresh creek, Town Fork and spring-fed lake are surrounded by beautiful woodlands. Our location is convenient,amenities are endless and fun is non-stop!


Rates: Keyhole Primitive Sites (no hookups) are $25 per night

Other sites range from $35 to $45 per night with hookups

Park admission each day is $3.50 for ages 12 and older and $3.00 for Ages 3 - 11

Park admission includes:

Swimming, Jumping Tower, First Fish Pond (catch & release), Playgrounds, Cargo Net, Picnic Grounds, Grills, Clean Bath House, Sand Volleyball, Horseshoes, Creek exploring, Hiking Trails, Bicycle Riding, Fountains, Artsie Metal Sculptures

More information: http://www.austinlakepark.com/



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Pittsburgh Family Fun - NEW North Hills Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark

Written by Heather Starr Fiedler. Posted in PittsburghMom

User Rating:  / 3

A couple of years ago, I wrote a review of Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark in Greensburg. You can read it here.  Now Fun Slides is opening a Pittsburgh location (opening day is May 31) and I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peak tonight.

It's located in the Pines Plaza on Perry Highway in the North Hills. In the plaza, drive around to the back, behind the Shop-n-Save and you'll see it.
PITTSBURGH (North Hills)
Pines Plaza Shopping Center, 
1130 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh PA 15237
(Behind Shop N Save)

 Fun Slides were created in 2002 by Don (Smokey) Edwards, one of the inventors of EZ Moves® Furniture Slides. The best way to describe “Fun Sliding” is like sliding with your socks on wood floors…but you can do it on carpet. Basically, they are smooth plastic ‘skates’ that are strapped under athletic shoes. The ‘gripper grooves’ on the bottom provide traction. Carpet Skating is a safer alternative to skating on ice or concrete yet very cool for kids (and adults!).

Fun Slides has just opened a  new location in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, which is great news for those of us that love to slide, but don't love to drive (all the way to Greensburg).  

The new location is just like the old one. Except about FIVE times bigger. Seriously, it's massive.  

For those of you that are new to Fun Slides, here's the general idea:

Basically it's like skateboarding without the skateboard.  Kids (and adults, if you wish) just strap on little bottoms to their shoes (attached with velcro, so make sure you wear sneakers, not flip flops) and take to the park.  There are at least a dozen or so ramps they can choose from, from the smallest "starter" rams to large double drop ramps.  They can progress upwards with their comfort level.  

For those of you that are not new to Fun Slides and are just wondering what is different with the new location, here are some of the changes:

  • There no more "sessions". They instead will be open to the general public for a constant time each day and then will sell "amounts of slide time" to visitors (2, 3 or 4 hours)
  • Prices are a bit higher.  A 2-hour slide will cost $12.  3 hours will cost $18 and 4 hours will cost $20.
  • Spectator passes. If parents want to stay in the lounge area or the first few feet of the floor space, that's fine. But if you want to walk around the floor, you will have to purchase a Spectator Pas for $2.50
  • Party Rooms - Unlike the open party rooms in Greensburg, the Pittsburgh location will have honest to goodness separate party rooms. They are starting with two and will have six by summers end
  • Dodgeball - Not technically new, as they do have this in Greensburg now, but it's much more prominent in Pittsburgh.  To play dodegball you can purchase a wristband as an add-on to sliding. This will cost $3 (for 3 games)
  • NO CAFE - The Greensburg location now has a hot foods cafe (that opened rather recently) but the Pittsburgh location does not yet (but will by end of summer).  In the meantime, pizza for birthday parties is being ordered from a local pizza shop.  There are snacks and drinks available for purchase and a nice size lounge with tables to take a break and have a snack.
  • Mini-golf and laser tag - *COMING SOON* - By the end of the summer they plan to install a cafe, and a laser tag and mini golf area

Birthday parties start at $199 for 10 children and can be booked starting now (in fact, they are already booked for parties on their opening day May 31.   Party add-ons include glow in the dark party room packages and dogeball options.


They offer public skating sessions just about every day of the week. Public sessions last an from 2-5 hours depending on the day and you're welcome to stay that entire time if you wish.  
Public skating typically follows this schedule

Sunday - 1:30-6:30
Monday - Closed
Tuesday & Wednesday - 10-4
Thursday , Friday & Saturday- 12:30-8:30


  • $12-20 for skating (2-4 hours)
  • $2.50 for carpet slides rental (or you can buy them if you come often)
  • $2 for helmet rental (required for ages 7 and under or you can bring your own helmet)
  • $2.50 for parent "Spectator Pass" if you want to go out on the floor to watch
  • $3.00 for 3 games of dodgeball
  • Birthday Party packages $199 up to 10 kids.  $15 for each additional child


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On death and dying

Written by Heather Starr Fiedler. Posted in PittsburghMom

User Rating:  / 3

We were on a family vacation last week, a cruise no less, when we got the call.
It's the call everyone dreads.

There were some troopers at our house from a town two hours away. The town where my husband's brother lives (alone). We knew it could not be good.

We called the troopers back and our worst fears were confirmed. He had passed away in his sleep. He was only 47.

That phone call began a whirlwind of emotions, calls, decisions and plans.  I feel like the last week has flown by in a blur.  We decided (because we were away and my husband's other brother lives in Texas) to have the funeral this week.  So since we've been back our days have been filled with family, funeral homes, cemetery visits, preparations and dozens of texts and phone calls.

While my husband and I are busy with the details and trying to keep the emotions at arms length for sheer survival.  My kids, on the other hand, are seeing this all happen and just seem to be internalizing it.

Last night they finally broke.

Both of them crawled into bed with me and squeezed me tight. Matthew (8) said "I can't go to sleep. I just keep thinking about all the bad things that can happen. I'm afraid one of our family is going to die too".  

Ben (7) just silently squeezed me tighter in agreement.

My heart broke in a million pieces. Because, you know what?  I'm scared too. 
How do I continue to promise my kids that they'll live a long time and that people don't just suddenly die. Because now they've seen that they do. People do just suddenly die sometimes. For no good reason and with no warning.

I can't look them in the eye and promise them that it will always be ok. Because I don't know that.

I'm the one that's been up multiple times every night the past week gently shaking every member of my family to make sure they're still breathing.

They're scared. And so am I.

So what do I tell them to comfort them? How do I make them feel safe?

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The thrill of the scare

Written by Heather Starr Fiedler. Posted in PittsburghMom

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Do you like scary movies?  Haunted houses?

I sure don't.

But I've got a little one that is shaping up to be a fan of being scared. I should have known. He's always gravitated more toward the dark and macabre than the cute and cuddly. He picks the scull and zombie shirts when shopping. He wanted to be the Grim Reaper for Halloween.  And now he's started to ask for scary movies and haunted houses.

He's kind of funny about it right now though.  He's still only seven. So he still gets scared. He wants to push the envelope and be scared but then gets "freaked out" when he does.

Last week he watched a bit of a movie with a friend (I don't think it was even a scary movie) and something spooked him.  He COULD NOT SLEEP that night. He just kept talking and talking. He said that he was trying to think of happy thoughts ("I tried to think of you mama, but every time I did my brain just kept getting freaked out"). He said that when he's freaked out he needs to talk constantly in order not to think about it. It makes for an interesting, chatty night.

We just went to Niagara Falls and both boys were allowed to pick one thing do do. He, of course, was begging to do the "scariest haunted attraction" in town. We talked him out of it and into something much more fun. I don't think he would have enjoyed it, and I know I personally was terrified ;)

So what do I do with a kid that wants to be scared but is too little to really enjoy it once he indulges in it?

I think we've got some time before we really have to tackle the issue. Halloween will be the real test, with haunted houses and scary costumes.  In the meantime we keep trying to make judgement calls when he asks for something on the dark side.


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I did it for me, I did it for them

Written by Heather Starr Fiedler. Posted in PittsburghMom

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About five years ago I decided I needed to get in shape. I can't remember exactly why, but I decided to take up running. My husband and I started the Couch to 5k program.  We had a treadmill at our home and it seemed like something manageable.  For the next 8 weeks we diligently followed the program, increasing our distances each week. I remember the first time I ran a mile. I thought I was going to die, yet I'd never felt more alive.

To keep us motivated we signed up for a 5k (the Great Race) at the completion of the program.  That day came and I was nervous, excited and proud. I ran (slowly) the whole time and crossed that finish line feeling like a new person. I remember it took me 36 minutes and 36 seconds.  Slow, but steady. I was hooked.

Since then I've continued to run in increasing distances, each time looking for that new challenge (to break a 30 minute 5k, to run a 10k, to try a triathlon, etc).  The one thing I never thought I'd do (or wanted to do) was a full marathon. It was just TOO much.

But this fall, just by sheer coincidence, I ran three half marathons in five weeks. (Still very slow, I've never really gotten faster) :)  I felt good during all of them and it was then that I realized maybe I did need that new challenge.

Signing up for the full was just like making the decision to jump into a cold pool. I just closed my eyes, plugged my nose and jumped.  I signed up (and posted to Facebook for accountability) and realized there was no turning back.

Fast forward to this winter. What a horrible time to train. I hate running outside in the snow, so I was relegated to the treadmill. I've long since given up really running on the treadmill. I get too bored. So I run/walk in increments. After countless episodes of Scandal, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and Say Yes to the Dress, I got tired of the damn treadmill.

When the weather broke I started to do my long weekend runs outside. But remember, I'm slow. It took me nearly all day to do these long runs. And then I would be tired the rest of that day and sore for two days after. 

This training was killing me. I began to hate it. I hated the time it was taking me away from my kids. I hated the guilt that I felt. Guilt because I wasn't running/training hard enough and guilt that I was spending so much time away from my kids.I felt so selfish for doing this thing for me that was taking me away from them so much. Running became a chore rather than something I enjoyed. I couldn't wait for it to be over.

Then marathon day came. I'm not sure I've ever been so nervous.  People tried to calm be by arguing that I gave birth to two kids so I could do anything.  I joked that I had drugs in the delivery room. There were no drugs available on the marathon course :)

The race ended up being fantastic. I ran slow (see a trend here?) and steady. I cheered with the crowds, line danced with the ladies in Homewood, drank a few sips of beer at the Church Brew Works "water stop" and loved every minute of the journey.  My family and friends came to watch me. My kids made giant signs and rang cowbells. After years of cheering for them at every sporting event, they got to turn the tables and cheer for me. They loved it   Crossing that finish line was such an amazing experience.

It was then that I realized that it was ok that I did this for me. That by doing it for me, I was also doing it for them. They got to see me do something really freaking hard. Something I openly worried about and wasn't sure I could do, but did it anyway. Something that very few people do. Something that takes hard work and discipline.  Something I didn't always enjoy, but refused to quit, because I had made a commitment.

My kids called me an inspiration to them. And now they say they want to grow up and run a marathon some day.  

So while I did feel a lot of guilt during the process, I realize now that with that guilt came some really wonderful lessons. And while the guilt was temporary, those lessons will last a lifetime. 

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